Hard to discern where his talent ends and his work ethic begins…

Andy Roddick is retiring this season after being “the face of men’s tennis in the U.S. for more than a decade.”  What wasn’t obvious to me until reading this article from the NY Times, was the depth of his character, his integrity and his drive.  With so many bad actors in professional sports, this story was inspiring.  Here’s a few excerpts:

“He’s a study in contradictions: a born entertainer who doesn’t like to leave home; a team player in an individual sport; a deep feeler who is quick to give you a piece of his mind or the shirt off his back; a lunch-pail prodigy.”

“He was precocious, yes, but his defining characteristic has been his persistence. Roddick never had the luxury of coasting, of taking his gifts for granted. How else but through grit and guts does a player with a balky backhand and a butcher’s touch at the net finish in the top 10 in the world for eight consecutive years?”

“Roddick’s serve is such a blur, people have a hard time discerning where his talent ends and his work ethic begins. He’s a classic overachiever who was cast as the suave leading man of American men’s tennis, a role that, true to his nature, he worked earnestly and endlessly to wholly inhabit.”

” More than all his titles, his decency is what makes him a champion. At an event in Delray Beach, Fla., I asked Roddick a question after one of his matches, and before he could respond, another reporter said loudly enough for everybody in the room to hear, “That’s a stupid question.” Roddick could have ignored the rude interlude. “That’s not a stupid question,” he said, and proceeded to explain why, sparing no detail.”

“…One year in Rome, Roddick overturned a linesman’s call in his competitor’s favor on match point against Fernando Verdasco, who went on to win.”

“When Roddick decided in 2003 that he needed to make a coaching change, he did not deliver the news by e-mail or by phone or foist the unpleasant task on his agent. Roddick traveled by train from London to Paris to tell Tarik Benhabiles in person that he was letting him go.”

For Full Article: New York Times – Playful as Ever As He Plays Out His String

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Comments

  1. How rude of that reporter. From the few things you’ve tole me here about Roddick, I’ve decided that I really like him. He must have a great mom. :)

  2. With so many spoiled brats and entitled characters occupying the sports arena, it’s incredibly refreshing to read about someone’s who’s gracious and humble! Bravo Andy!

  3. Respect is a two way street. You give and you get it back. Sounds like he has earned his.

  4. David. Tennis is such an “individual-public” sport, if you know what i mean. It’s great to see character on and off the court. Even spoiled tennis players seem to grow up better than most, witness the evolution of McEnroe amd Aggassi.

  5. The end of the one last good American players. Looks like it will be awhile for someone to come up and take the lead. Definitely one that brought his lunch bucket and worked his butt off to get where he did!

  6. We so often never know the full, whole. complete story, and yet somehow make up our own minds. I am glad to know more of the real truth behind Andy. I especially appreciate learning about his integrity to meet his coach in person.

  7. I give him a lot of credit, and frankly am delighted to read something positive about a sports icon..

  8. A great example. Thanks for sharing.

  9. I’ve been a fan of Andy’s ever since he won the U.S. Open Juniors title in 2000. I would have liked to have seen him go another ten years, but I understand when the drive and determination is no longer there, and everything is complicated by injuries.

    • I didn’t follow him closely Russel but I have taken a much greater interest now after this story. And agree, after a series of injuries, the fire tends to leave the belly.

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